[erlang-questions] languages in use? [was: Time for OTP to be Renamed?]

Loïc Hoguin <>
Sun Feb 16 11:33:28 CET 2014


On 02/16/2014 03:40 AM, Miles Fidelman wrote:
> - My sense is that a lot of the comments in this thread have been about
> the need to promote adoption of Erlang - which is really a
> business/company decision, not that of individual developers (at least
> in my experience, it's companies that make language/platform decisions,
> for business reasons).
...
 > any good engineer who's
 > working on high-availability, high-concurrency systems either already
 > knows about Erlang, or will find it pretty quickly when doing technology
 > assessment for a project with requirements that are best suited for
 > Erlang

It's companies that make decisions, but it's developers that introduce 
companies to the different choices they have. There's indeed a fair 
amount of chances that someone working in HA at least heard about it. 
There's no real need to target them.

Everyone else though? Ask any 9-to-5 developer if they heard of Erlang. 
You will get very few positive answers. And if you are the only one who 
heard about it in a company, then it's never going to be used even if 
it's the perfect tool for the job.

Erlang can be used for anything server, not just HA. Erlang could 
replace PHP or Ruby or whatever and do so while also saving costs (less 
developers needed, less/smaller servers, etc). If only enough people 
even heard about it.

The other thing is that Erlang lacks in (properly maintained) libraries. 
Getting Erlang known beyond what's it's historically good at is what 
needs to be done to fix this. Because if it's only used by HA people 
then you'll just get more process registries, pools, distributed 
frameworks and such. Which is great when you're building an HA system. 
But not so much when you need to output Excel files for accounting, or 
crop and resize an image, or send an SMS. Which is the kind of tasks 
that most developers spend their time doing.

> -- Is this true?  How does supply and demand for Erlang developers look
> right now?  (Anybody from Erlang consultancies able to comment here?)

Right now I don't know but about a year ago I heard the number of 400 
Erlang developers needed in the Bay area alone. I assume of course that 
this includes companies that would be interested in using Erlang if only 
there was developers to hire.

US companies that do use Erlang today are forced either to look in 
Europe and elsewhere (Basho and Ubiquiti Networks do this AFAIK), or 
train their staff (that's what the evening school of Erlang was about).

> -- On a related note:  A lot of this comes down to computer science
> education.

Definitely.

-- 
Loïc Hoguin
http://ninenines.eu


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